Tag Archives: Tea Tuesdays

Garlic Convert

I had the exact same thing for Monday night’s dinner as I did for yesterday’s lunch, except that dinner had one small potato and lunch had two. I’m learning that I need a lot of food at lunch but much less at dinner. Is anyone else like that?

Since Mark is an awesome roommate, he threw three small potatoes in the oven for me as I left work on Monday night so that, by the time I got home after a quick trip to Trader Joe’s, they’d be ready. He also sauteed some broccoli for me (leftover from the veggie tray at Sunday’s Cookie Exchange!) in unrefined coconut oil (so much better than the refined version). Is he great, or what? I’ve also learned that I need to eat ASAP after work, as food keeps me up at night and I’m usually in bed by 10pm on weeknights because I’m a senior citizen I wake up so early. So, Mark starting my dinner helped me a lot!

Anyway, I topped the baked potatoes with nonfat plain greek yogurt, a little butter, light cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, and Parmesan Garlic Gold Nuggets. I had the broccoli on the side. Well, I had it on the side for the dinner version of the meal.

For a sense of portions, that’s a (chipped) dessert-sized plate as opposed to my usual dinner-sized one.

For lunch yesterday, I just threw the broccoli together with the potatoes (on a bigger plate).

By the way, I used to hate garlic. And I mean, I really, really hated it. Or, I thought I did. I avoided it at all costs. I’d order dishes at Italian restaurants, much to the chef’s dismay (and, let’s be honest, my Italian family’s), without the garlic.

I was looked at like I was crazy.

You can imagine my surprise, then, when in the past year, I realized just how much I love garlic. Dragon breath be damned, people can deal. So, once I discovered my new found love for garlic, I cannot tell you how excited I was to try  Garlic Gold. After hearing all about it on other blogs, I was basically dying to try it and, happily, they agreed to send me some samples.

Check out the goodies I got:

Garlic-infused Olive Oil, Garlic Gold in oil, four different kinds of Garlic Gold nuggets (Parmesan, Sea Salt, Italian Herb and Original), and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette.

I am most enamored with the nuggets. And of the nuggets, I most love the Parmesan (I think you all know I love parmesan at this point) and Sea Salt (no surprises there, either) varieties.

Garlic Gold also has a holiday gift box, so if you have any garlic lovers in your life, well, you have a ready-made gift for $25. Easy-peasy. 🙂 In fact, I just sent one to my mom for her birthday!

(I can say that already because she didn’t wait to open her gift. Sigh.)

Anyway, I’d be remiss not to mention the desserts I ate after each of those meals. After Monday night’s dinner, I broke off a part of the big piece of Melissa‘s amazing Peppermint Oreo Bark that I saved from the exchange.

And, after yesterday’s lunch, I had a pear the size of my hand!

It was also Tea Tuesday, so I carried the tradition on even without Kim here. I made myself a cup of Cacao Mint (my favorite). I enjoyed the tea with a S’mores Luna Bar. They paired nicely!

Do you have any foods that you used to think you hated and now love?

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Black Balls

Did I get your attention? Oh, good. 😉

It’s Tea Tuesday! And, after two weeks of doing Tea Tuesday on days other than Tuesday, we actually remembered/ were available on a Tuesday!

Today’s picking: Black Balls. Well, that’s what Kim and my boss call it, for fun.

Yes, Mom, seriously. Stop laughing.

The real name: Black Dragon Pearls Black Tea. Still fun, but not nearly as fun as “Black Balls.” I think Kim and my boss have it right.

(source)

In a new mug this week! Pretty, right?

While this wasn’t my favorite tea (very strong and bitter), I enjoyed it the way I might enjoy a Guinness. While I tend to like sweeter, lighter, and fruitier teas (and beers), I also enjoy darker, more bitter varieties as well – but slowly and with more focused appreciation of the complexities.

Lunch, a few hours ago, was less exciting in that I’ve already had it twice on the blog, but totally exciting in taste.

I seriously loved this Thai Curried Rice & Beans. A lot.

Really, I’m just in love with that sauce. I’d love it on just about anything. I’d probably love it on… bananas.

Okay, not bananas. But you know what I mean.

Snack was another new love from Trader Joe’s (seriously, I’m starting to think they should hire me).

European Style French Vanilla Mint Lowfat Yogurt.

Big fan. I’m really into yogurt lately but this also satisfies a non-fruit sweet tooth.

Perfect.

Oh, and… I’m still listening to “Club Can’t Handle Me.” Still.

Have any of you started joining in on Tea Tuesdays? I want to hear about what teas you’re trying and enjoying!

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Back to Normalcy

I’m skipping over Monday and Tuesday, just for the time being, because some of the many, many pictures I took are currently on a camera that… well… I left at home.

So for now, I’ll just skip ahead to Wednesday and hope you don’t mind when I do a little time traveling.

I started yesterday with… wait for it… boot camp!

I think San Francisco was good for me. In case you haven’t heard, that place is hilly! I did a ton of walking. In fact, the only times I took any kind of transportation were when I took the BART to the hotel from the airport and vice versa, and when Foodbuzz provided bus transportation to and from the Food Fare.

Anyway, the point is that I think all of that walking was good for me. Though I did feel twinges of pain in my achilles tendon at random points throughout the weekend, I can now safely say that the creaking seems to be gone and I haven’t really felt any pain in days.

So, yesterday morning began with my usual 45 minutes of boot camp and 40 minutes on the elliptical trainer… and I cannot tell you how happy this all made me.

Since I’m still craving lots and lots of fruits and vegetables, I started the day off with a smoothie in a bowl. 🙂

Into the mix went:

  • 3 ice cubes
  • a huge handful of fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • heaping tbs nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries

On top:

  • drizzle warmed coconut butter
  • handful Go Lean Crunch! Honey Almond Flax

Ahh, it feels good to be back in the swing of things.

On Tuesday night, I prepped for meals during the week by roasting some pre-chopped (thank you, Trader Joe’s, for making my life easier!) sweet potatoes in the oven for just under an hour at 350 degrees.

This made lunch on Wednesday very easy. I sprinkled about 1 1/2 cups roasted sweet potato chunks with cinnamon and nutmeg and separately sprinkled about 2/3 cup black beans with cumin, salt, pepper and garlic powder. I also brought another little container of nonfat cottage cheese.

I warmed the potatoes and black beans each in the microwave for about 2 minutes, then layered everything together to make a warm mess of a lunch.

For dessert, I had my one and only ( 😦 ) Frog Hollow Farm pear from my Foodbuzz swag.

Seriously, this was quite possibly the best pear I have ever had. So juicy and flavorful!

Things were a little too hectic on Tuesday to have Tea Tuesday, so Kim made me some tea on Wednesday, instead. This week, it was Thousand Mountain Jasmine Tea.

This tea was definitely one of the most aromatic teas I’ve ever had. It tasted like it smelled (like flowers), and I love that. Fortunately, it also offered a pick-me-up, which I sorely needed. I’ve been pretty exhausted lately!

I also snacked on one of the new Larabars, Chocolate Chip Brownie, which I saw and immediately snatched up while I was in San Francisco!

I loved this new bar. It tasted like dessert. Quite possibly my favorite Larabar to date?!

That’s a big statement.

Before I went home, I had a friend date and ended up having more tea! After this past weekend, I wasn’t much feeling the normal “go out for drinks,” nor did I even feel up for a restaurant dinner, a fro-yo outing, or anything else of the like. In short, I was kind of no fun. Fortunately, Michelle felt similarly, so we ended up getting together at…

The Coffee Bean. Around 7pm on a Wednesday.

We’re old ladies, basically.

I tried a new-to-me tea, the Winter Dream. It was delicious and smelled so good (like Christmas!). However, it was caffeinated and I had big plans to crash early, so I only had a few sips.

Sadly, I didn’t last long (sorry, Michelle!). My body was telling me it needed to go home, and I couldn’t do anything but listen.

As soon as I was home, I warmed up some leftover Berkeley Vegan zPizza (on wheat crust).

It was kind of nice not to have to do anything for dinner except stick it in the toaster oven.

Mark then made me some more tea (decaf peppermint this time), and then I crashed. Hard. I needed sleep!

Wednesday Morning Workout

5 minutes elliptical trainer warmup

45 minutes boot camp (wooo!)

35 minutes elliptical trainer (30 min high intensity + 5 min cool down)

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The Pull-Up Bar

My day today has been hilarious because of this:

My boss got a (temporary) pull-up bar and the past few hours have been full of friendly competition as various people in the office have tried to do their personal best – be that one pull-up or, as you can see, the reigning nine (for Jack – who actually did 13, but only nine entirely consecutively. I would have given him the 13, but whatever.).

This is seriously the view from my desk. Suffice it to say that it’s been an amusing afternoon.

In other news, in all of my packing disarray, I a) didn’t have time to make a real dinner last night and just made some unworthy-of-the-camera eggs, and b) completely forgot my lunch at home this morning.

Packing apparently = food as a non-priority. Weird.

Good thing my office kitchen stocks food!

So, I made a simple and quick lunch of ham and cheddar on potato bread with honey mustard (which I made by combining two mustard packets with a drizzle of honey) and a little avocado (stolen from Lauren).

Nothing special, but it did its job!

I don’t know if any of you noticed, but Kim and I forgot to do tea on Tea Tuesday, so we decided we’d make up for it with a Tea Thursday.

This week’s pick: Cacao Mint.

Definitely my favorite so far. First of all, the smell is out of this world, with the intoxicating aroma of chocolate and mint. And, happily, it tastes just as it smells… and just as you’d want it to.

(source)

Like dessert!

Also, I love that the mug Kim always happens to give me (as she has a few!) is my absolute favorite color. It’s even the key accent color in my bedroom.

Alright… it’s time to start wrapping things up around here. It’s almost SF time!!!

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Vegetarian, Day Two

I keep surprising myself with how much I love oatmeal lately. I used to be so anti-oatmeal! I am officially a convert.

In case you couldn’t guess where I was going with that, I obviously had oatmeal for breakfast yesterday morning.

It was a mix of a bunch of different flavors, all of which worked beautifully together.

Into the mix went:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (added after the water has been soaked up
  • 1 capful pure vanilla extract
  • 2 dashes cinnamon
  • dash Splenda
  • 1/2 banana, sliced (added toward the end and mushed while in the pot)

On top:

  • sprinkling of chia seeds
  • ~1/2 tbs coconut butter
  • ~1/2 tbs pumpkin butter
  • small handful dried cherries

Yum. It was also the perfect breakfast for a cold morning, especially since I hadn’t worked out and warmed up that way.

Lunch, of course, was the leftovers from my Butternut Squash Stir-Fry.

I actually liked this even better the next day, as the microwave softened the veggies up more and the flavors had had more time to settle.

Hot veggies for lunch, day two: success!

Leftovers lunch from a dinner for one, day two: success!

I was able to continue warming up with consumables throughout the afternoon, as well, as it was Tea Tuesday!


This week, Kim made a combination of two teas:  Golden Monkey Black Tea and Emerald Bamboo Forest White Tea. She explained that she does this to cut down on fairly strong flavors. Even with the two teas combined, the flavor was very strong! It reminded me of unsweetened chocolate and molasses.

Interestingly, the Golden Monkey Black Tea had the overpowering taste, but you’d never know it by smelling the two loose teas – the Emerald Bamboo Forest White Tea definitely had the stronger scent.

Knowing I was going to a goodbye party for a friend after work last night and that I didn’t want to make a dinner out of party snack foods, I stopped somewhere conveniently right down the street from where I was going:

I went straight to the (limited) hot bar and picked up a container of 1/3 brown rice and 2/3 Channa Masala.

It was filling! I ate half of it and felt satisfied, so I saved the rest and I’m sure I’ll be incorporating the leftovers into another meal this week.

Plus, check out the price! Not too bad for a dinner + leftovers for another meal from Whole Foods!

While at the party, I also snacked on two of these delicious mini pumpkin cupcakes.

Vegetarian week, day two: success!

I’m trying to get better at taking pictures at parties, so I at least ended up with a few pictures of my friends last night.

The fact that I didn’t feel like drinking last night probably helped. You know, free hands and all.

In the middle, below, is Nick, who is leaving us for Boston.

I mean, I can’t really blame him. Boston is awesome. But, still – we’ll miss you, Nick!

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Tea Tuesdays

It has been raining in LA for days! Last night, there was even some lightening and a little bit of thunder. I loved it.

Monday night ended like this…

(I think the black and white effect adds a certain… je ne sais quoi, no? No? Oh, okay.)

When the rain continued but the sun decided to come out to visit on Tuesday morning, we were treated to this:

In my opinion, a rainbow is generally a pretty good omen. And, in fact, it appeared just an hour before I got some really wonderful news that I’ve been waiting and hoping for. 🙂

I started my day out yesterday with a five mile run, which was neither planned for nor, sadly, a good idea. The good part of the run was that I needed and appreciated the time with myself, and the run allowed me to zone out and really clear my head. Unfortunately, zoning out meant that I ended up running further than I had planned. So, while the zoning out was good for my soul, it was definitely not good for my achilles tendon. I went into it thinking I was all healed, but halfway into the eventual distance of the run (aka, 2.5 miles out from my apartment), my body begged to differ.

Sigh.

At least I got to come back to a yummy smoothie.

It was a Mocha Coconut kind of day, you know what I mean? Plus, I figured all of the colors in the sky would make up for an entirely brown (in appearance, anyway) breakfast.

Into the mix went:

  • 3 ice cubes
  • big handful fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 heaping tbs nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 heaping tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 packet instant coffee
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • dash Splenda

On top:

  • ~3/4 tbs warmed coconut butter
  • big handful Puffins

It may not have been pretty to look at, but it sure tasted good!

Aside from the added cucumbers, lunch was pretty brown, too.

I covered two slices of the multigrain artisan bread from chili night with hummus and topped them with sliced mushrooms and one piece of light cheddar cheese split across the two pieces of bread. I put it all in the toaster oven on broil until the cheese melted… and then I devoured it.

The hot lunch was pretty welcome on the drizzly day.

Also welcome on a drizzly day? Tea!

One of my co-workers, Kim, is something of a tea connoisseur. She makes tea for herself daily and often graces one of us with a cup, as well. With this in mind, she came up with a great idea for KWH: Tea Tuesdays! So, every Tuesday, Kim will kindly be treating me to a cup of tea… which means I’ll be able to share with you the tea of the week.

This week, we enjoyed My Morning Mate. This tea was absolutely perfect for the gray afternoon and the energy slump I was starting to feel, as many people do around 4pm. I could taste the hints of chocolate as well as the spices, and the perk I felt in addition to the treat for my tastebuds was more than welcome.

Plus, isn’t the actual tea pretty?

(source)

I’m excited about this new KWH weekly installment!

Tuesday Morning Workout

5.03 mile run in 1:05:18, technically giving me a 12:57 min pace*

*However, I kind of caught every single traffic light on my route (no, seriously), so I’m pretty sure I was actually at my average 11-something pace. If not, I blame it on the achilles tendon.

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